Coast Guard rescues 2 boaters off eastern shore of Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard District 17 NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 dolphin helicopter rescued two boaters Wednesday night, after their 37-foot sailing vessel grounded on a reef in “Puerto del Manglar” just off the eastern shore of Culebra Island, Puerto Rico.

Joseph Lobs, 24, resident of Jacksonville, Fla. and Sarah Duncan, 18, resident of Silverton, Ore., where travelling aboard the sailing vessel Morning Mist from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico, when the vessel grounded.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a May Day call at approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday via marine radio, on VHF-Channel 16, from the master of the Morning Mist, who reported running aground 10 nautical miles east of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders were able to investigate and determine that the vessel’s reported position was incorrect and proceeded to coordinate with the boaters and a Puerto Rico 911 Emergency Service operator, who was able to triangulate the sailing vessel’s correct position to Culebrita Reef just off the eastern shore of Culebra Island.

Coast Guard watchstanders received another communication at 8:10 p.m. Wednesday from the master of the Morning Mist, who reported that the sailing vessel had been freed from its’ grounded position and that they would continue their voyage to Puerto Rico. Shortly thereafter, Coast Guard watchstanders were contacted by the master of the Morning Mist, via a 911 Emergency Service operator, who reported that the sailing vessel had run aground a second time on a reef in “Puerto del Manglar” and was now taking on water.

Sector San Juan watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to rescue the boaters in distress. The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene, deployed their rescue swimmer and hoisted the boaters safely onboard the aircraft.

“This was a great response thanks to the close coordination between the boaters, our watchstanders and the 911 Emergency Service in determining the vessel’s grounded position, which allowed our aircrews to arrive rapidly onscene and hoist the boaters to safety,” said Cmdr. James Sutton, Sector San Juan chief of response.

The master of the sailing vessel is making arrangements with Sea Tow Puerto Rico Thursday to salvage the Morning Mist from its’ grounded location.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.